Thursday, July 1, 2021

#MacmillanAudio Review of Preventable by Andy Slavitt Narrated by: Bradley Whitford

Today I'm reviewing the Macmillan audio version of Andy Slavitt's eye-opening behind the scenes look at how the US responded to the Covid-19 crisis and how it affected us from the top to the trenches.

Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Release Date: 06-29-2021
Length: 9 hours-53 minutes
Source: Publisher for review
Buy It: Audible



“Painfully good. The book could have been called, ‘Outrageous.’ The story Andy Slavitt tells is not just about Trump’s monumental failures but also about the deeper ones that started long before, with our health system, our politics, and more.” --Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal

The definitive, behind-the-scenes look at the U.S. Coronavirus crisis from one of the
most recognizable and influential voices in healthcare

From former Biden Senior Advisor Andy Slavitt, Preventable is the definitive inside account of the United States' failed response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Slavitt chronicles what he saw and how much could have been prevented -- an unflinching investigation of the cultural, political, and economic drivers that led to unnecessary loss of life.

With unparalleled access to the key players throughout the government on both sides of the aisle, the principal public figures, as well as the people working on the frontline involved in fighting the virus, Slavitt brings you into the room as fateful decisions are made and focuses on the people at the center of the political system, health care system, patients, and caregivers. The story that emerges is one of a country in which -- despite the heroics of many -- bad leadership, political and cultural fractures, and an unwillingness to sustain sacrifice light a fuse that is difficult to extinguish.

Written in the tradition of The Big Short, Preventable continues Andy Slavitt’s important work of addressing the uncomfortable realities that brought America to this place. And, he puts forth the solutions that will prevent us from being here again, ensuring a better, stronger country for everyone.

My Macmillan Audio review:

Andy Slavitt
Narrated by Bradley Whitford

Andy Slavitt a former successful businessman turned civil servant and advocate for healthcare reform who worked for the Obama administration as the acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from March 2015 to January 2017 and helped saved the rollout after it’s initial failure, plus more recently served temporarily in the Biden administration as Covid-19 Response Coordinator releases his new book, Preventable. A bird’s eye, behind the scenes look at how the country and especially the Trump leadership or lack of it impacted how Covid-19 ravaged our country and divided us even more than we were.

Slavitt an early opponent of how the Trump Whitehouse and especially Donald Trump himself handled or didn’t handle the Covid-19 pandemic accurately recounts for readers/listeners how the inactions, lies and deception and the politicizing of mask wearing of the former President ultimately led to many unnecessary lives being lost (some experts say up to 100,000 lives could have been spared). And how the dismantling of many previous agencies put in place for rapid pandemic response and how his belittling of scientists and other experts led to the public’s confusion on who to believe and distrust of agencies like the Centers for Disease Control CDC and the World Health Organization WHO.

Andy takes his audience inside his meetings with top officials both Republican and Democrat looking for advice, and takes them inside his meetings with top Trump aides quietly giving them advice while trying to persuade them to keep Trump’s rhetoric in check and when that didn’t work how Andy took to the airwaves himself to podcasting and to Twitter to tell the public the truth about Covid-19 and how to prevent the spread.

But Slavitt doesn’t stop there he also in layman’s terms lays out what the country and the world must to do to be ready for the next Preventable, outbreak.


“Slavitt draws upon his own insider access in Preventable … It's a unique status that gave him direct access to decision-makers, who appeared to confide in him.” —The Washington Post

“Ever since the pandemic began, and well before that, Andy Slavitt has been an indispensable voice of reason and urgency when it comes to America’s health. This book comes at a crucial moment as he explains, in accessible and engaging terms, how we got here and what must happen next.” —Pete Buttigieg, Former Presidential Candidate and Mayor of South Bend, Indiana

“Informative and often enraging account of ‘missed opportunit[ies]’ in the U.S. government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic … offers critical insights for mitigating the next public health crisis.” —Publishers Weekly

“A page-turning thriller detailing the tick-tock of the worst public health disaster in a century.” —Sanjay Gupta, Chief Medical Correspondent, CNN

"One of the most well-connected figures in medicine and health policy... He’s become a go-to account for the daily inside scoop on where the U.S. is progressing and where it’s failing. [His Twitter thread] is also a good source of a dose of humanity — including his viral thread inviting people to share a photo and short caption that best summarizes their life in the pandemic. It will make you laugh and cry." --Elemental

“He’s not swaggery; he doesn’t come across as particularly commanding. But then leadership isn’t always blustery or elected. Slavitt is a policy wonk turned cage rattler, and in this time of pandemic, he’s emerged on Twitter and TV as one of the more straightforward, consistent sources of information, a health care administrator with a talent for getting senators and CEOs to call him back.” --The Chicago Tribune

“As CMS administrator, he was able to work across the aisle, though quietly, more than some predecessors. His pragmatic problem-solving (he dislikes the word “technocrat”) approach helped him build good ties with much of the health care industry and many governors, including those in red and purple states.” --Politico

“During his tenure at CMS, he has repeatedly proven to be an effective problem solver that engages stakeholders to craft consensus-based solutions.” --American Medical Association

“He’s as knowledgeable about health care as anyone I’ve met. He’s one of the few people that can really integrate all of the aspects.” --Bill George, former Medtronic CEO

“With decades of experience delivering health care services to millions of Americans, Andy has developed a track record as an effective and innovative leader who gets results. As acting administrator at CMS, Andy has played a crucial role in leading efforts to combat health care fraud, reform health care delivery, and improve health outcomes.” --Amy Klobuchar

“Andy pairs a deep understanding of U.S. health care with a unique ability to execute honed over years as a private-sector leader. And as the bipartisan make up of United States of Care demonstrates, Andy’s expertise is recognized by Republicans and Democrats.’’ --Denis McDonough, Former White House Chief of Staff

About the author:
ANDY SLAVITT was President Biden’s White House Senior Advisor for the Covid response at the beginning of his term where he oversaw direct communication with the public on the pandemic. He has led many of the nation’s most important health care initiatives, serving as President Obama’s head of Medicare and Medicaid and overseeing the turnaround, implementation and defense of the Affordable Care Act. Slavitt is the “outsider’s insider”, serving in leading private and non-profit roles in addition to his government services. He is founder and Board Chair Emeritus of United States of Care, a national non-profit health advocacy organization as well as a founding partner of Town Hall Ventures, a healthcare firm that invests in underrepresented communities. He co-chaired a national initiative on the future of health care at the Bipartisan Policy Center. He chronicles what goes on inside the government and across the nation at town halls, in USA Today, and on Twitter. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Business School, he and his wife have two grown sons.


  1. Sounds interesting. I will have to give this a try at some point. I think I want to completely get out of this crisis first. LOL Wonderful review.

    Melanie @ Books of My Heart

    1. I totally understand Mel! I hope you get to read/listen to it.

  2. This sounds really interesting! I really hope that we have learned a lot as a nation for the events surrounding this pandemic.

    1. I don't know Carole in my state of Missouri the Delta variant is wrecking havoc and the vaccination rate is slowing. Fingers Crossed but we're stopping the eating out and we'll be masking up in public places.

  3. This sounds like an interesting read.
    Things are getting worst here with the Coronavirus again. But instead of making masks mandated again, the health department is "Hoping" that more people get vaccinated. I have a feeling that things are about to get bad again in some places.

  4. This sounds interesting, and what a great format to listen to it.